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Valentino Has a Roman Romance for Spring 2013

Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli sure know how to make the prettiest dresses.

The Clothes: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli sure know how to make the prettiest dresses. For their spring 2013 collection for Valentino, the designers said they were looking to "neo-realist Rome for inspiration; its spirit of change, the desire for reinvention, the dignity of composed yet sensual elegance." What that meant was a look back at the house's heritage of A-line's and bold reds (Valentino himself was in the front row, after all) but with Chiuri and Piccioli's delicate touch.

The first few looks out were dainty, elegant slip dresses in blush tones and navy with a certain fragility about them--they returned later on only slightly more embellished. Polo collars on blouses were the closest this collection got to sporty. Day dresses had flared sheer skirts and were nipped at the waist. Shifts had embroidered shirtfronts (kinda like dickies? but way fancier?) those signature pantsuits had soft, blouse-y sleeves.

The eveningwear, always a highlight of the collection, did not disappoint. To-the-floor dresses came in sheers and were intricately embroidered, though there more restrained numbers in solid black, navy, and Valentino red, that were just as gorgeous.

The Hair & Makeup: Hair was parted to the side and fastened in a messy low bun. Faces were left pretty bare except for a rosy flush across the cheeks.

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The Soundtrack: A remix of the "Spring" section from Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." And that's not the first time we've heard it on the runway this season. Jonathan Saunders used it too.

The Vibe: Elegant, and refined despite the fact that it was sweltering inside the tent!

The Front Row: Jennifer Lopez, Valentino Garavani, Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman, Natalia Vodianova

Celebrity We'd Most Like to See Wearing this Collection: Keira Knightley, Emily Blunt, Michelle Williams

Photos: IMAXTree